Step 5: Know John O’Neill (the birth of Dark Unicorn Games)

John is the crucial third leg of our Dark Unicorn tripod, and without him, we’d fall down. Like Ben and I, John is a multi-class adventurer. He’s a hyper-intelligent game programmer as well as a seasoned entrepreneur and business tycoon. All absolutely vital skills when you want to run a small independent game studio. 

Because of our excitement for Super Powered Smash Masters, and inspired by the burgeoning tabletop gaming movement, we decided to form an entirely new studio around the game. We adopted a hero from the game called Dark Unicorn as our mascot, and we appropriated his name for our new company. It was a good choice: he embodies rarity, coolness, and silliness, and not in that order. We decided that Super Powered Smash Masters would be our first product, and that our primary focus as a studio would be to produce quality family games. It’s something we’re all passionate about because we’re all dads who enjoy playing games with our children. Once we nailed down those decisions, John’s the one who did the legwork to make it all legal. Need web domains, SSL certificates, TMs, incorporationses? He’s the guy. In fact, he often ends up doing things that make right brainers like me scream and slip into a coma. I’m conscious right now because of John O’Neill!

Beyond that, John’s the reason we were able to secure the funding necessary to bring the game to print. Without him, there would be no game. Period. The best part is, we’re doing all this without any outside investors or influence. We’re completely independent. 

File Photo: John securing funding for Dark Unicorn Games.

So yeah, know John O’Neill. 

This concludes my simple 5-step process for how to design Super Powered Smash Masters. If I happened to gloss over or skip a step that you’d like to learn more about, or if you have other subjects you’d like us to blog about, please leave a (polite) reply in the comments!

I hope you’re enjoying Super Powered Smash Masters.  Smash you later!


Come back next week for John’s take on how Dark Unicorn Games got up and running!

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Author Adam Cogan
Categories SPSM
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